As I’ve said elsewhere on the blog, I believe designers should draw as often as possible. One of the best exercises, time-tested over hundreds of years of fine art tradition, is copying the Masters. But can you do this on lunch break? Sure—with a little help from a grid!
Grids aren’t just for layout you know. They were used for painting long before they were used for page layout. Try this for a few lunch break sessions and you’ll be a master-sketcher of the Masters in no time.
How to sketch a copy of a Master painting on lunch break
Without getting into philosophy, here are the details and the example:
- Get an image of a painting you like and paste it into Photoshop
- Crop the image to the detail you want to work on
- Add a grid to the image using this tutorial: How to create a grid quickly and easily with Photoshop. Be sure not to make the grid too small. My example is a 3 x 3 grid, of a roughly 300px x 300px image.
- Leave the image up on your computer screen
- Create a grid with the same number of squares in your sketchbook
- Squint and lightly pencil in the main lines and angles
- Rinse, wash, repeat until you have it blocked out. Move around from block to block and don’t sweat the details
- When you have enough blocked in, start sweating some details, in layers
- Progressively add more tone to the sketch until lunch break is over
- Don’t over work it, but repeat at lunch tomorrow
Here are a couple of shots of the fruit of my labor, 30-45 mins, having followed those exact steps. Click to enlarge. Enjoy!
The orignal 300 x 300 image I cropped:
P.S. Yes, his ring finger is a little odd